Canadian field hockey fans had reason to cheer today as the Women’s National Team secured a convincing 5-0 victory over Mexico in the final group stage match at the 2023 Pan American Games. The win assured Canada’s place in the semifinals and a date with Argentina.
From the opening whistle, Canada controlled the possession and the pace of play. The team applied repeated pressure, leaving their Mexican counterparts struggling to find an answer. A highlight of today’s match was Canada’s penalty corner conversion, as they notched four goals, three of which came off the drag flicks of Karli Johansen. According to Johansen, that penalty corner conversion is something Canada wants to keep pressing and will use it to grow their confidence.
“It definitely feels nice to score. It feels nice to execute as a team. We haven’t had that many penalty corners so far this tournament, and we’re definitely looking to draw more corners and convert on them,” Johansen said. “It’s nice to see that we can put a plan forward, make changes in the middle of the game, and we’ll bring that forward.”
Canada’s defense was equally impressive in the first two quarters, leaving Mexico with few opportunities to mount any meaningful offensive threat. As the game progressed into the third quarter, Canada continued to assert their dominance. Johansen, already a standout performer in the first half, added another goal to her tally, and Audrey Sawers contributed to the scoreline as well with the only field goal of the game. Head coach Danny Kerry, said that despite their victory today, he knows the team has more to give overall.
“Ironically, we’ve played our best hockey during the game we lost, and even then, we know we have more in us,” Kerry said. “We’ve showed moments of some really good stuff, but we all know that there’s lots more in us. Our conversion on penalty corners was high today and delighted for Karli and (Sara) Mac as the goal scorers.”
The victory not only secured their place in the semifinals but also guaranteed Canada a spot in an Olympic qualifier tournament, ensuring their ongoing pursuit of Olympic berth, should they not win the gold at the 2023 Pan Ams. The top of the podium is still very much in the sights of Canada, but a guaranteed second chance is now secured.
This morning’s win means that Canada finishes their group stage with two wins and a single loss, securing second place in Pool B. The Canadian team now sets their sights on the semifinals, where they will face perennial Pan American favourite, Argentina on Thursday, November 2. Kerry and the Canadian Wolf Pack are excited and ready for the match on Thursday.
“It will be brilliant,” Kerry said. “Argentina are the world number three ranked team and it will be a massive test for us and I think it will bring the best out of us.”
Canada closes out group stage defeating Mexico 5-0. Photos/Yan Huckendubler
Field Hockey Canada encourages local, provincial and national sponsors to get involved with our ‘Join our Journey’ sponsorship campaign. The initiative is inclusive of the entire Canadian field hockey community and gives organizations and companies the opportunity to join Field Hockey Canada on the journey to international success at all levels.
With your support as part of our team, we can achieve even more and in doing so amplify your voice and business too through our local, national and international communities.
Field Hockey Canada is proud to be partnered with the Indian Maharadja as our official apparel provider. Support your favourite national team here by getting all your fan-wear!